Story Number: NNS140316-01Release Date: 3/16/2014 8:40:00 AM
By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Phillip Pavlovich
HONG KONG (NNS) -- U.S. 7th Fleet flagship USS Blue Ridge (LCC 19) and the embarked staff arrived in Hong Kong for a port visit March 12.
Blue Ridge is on its first patrol of the year, strengthening relationships with U.S. allies and partner nations while providing advanced communication capabilities and supporting Theater Security Cooperation across the Indo-Asia Pacific region.
"It's important for Blue Ridge to maintain a strong relationship with our Pacific partner nations and allies in the 7th Fleet area of responsibility," said Assistant Supply Officer Lt. Steven Holland. "Port visits give us a chance to leave a lasting impression because for some locals, we're the only Americans they will potentially meet in their lifetime."
While in port, Sailors and Marines will take advantage of opportunities to participate in community service projects, sporting events and experience the city's culture on trips coordinated by Morale, Welfare and Recreation.
"I'm excited to venture out in Hong Kong and see the city's rich history," said Seaman Blair Powell. "I'm thankful I have opportunities like this to travel the world and see unique places."
Blue Ridge has been forward deployed to Yokosuka, Japan for 34 years. As the flag ship for Commander, U.S. 7th Fleet, Vice Adm. Robert L. Thomas, Blue Ridge is vital in maintaining partnerships in the 7th Fleet area of operations.
For more news from Commander, U.S. 7th Fleet, visit www.navy.mil/local/c7f/.